The chefs at Mojito Grill immerse the intimate dining area with the savory scents of classic Cuban fare. Employing a decades-old cooking method, they use traditional la caja china roasting boxes to prepare hearty cuts of pork, steak, poultry, and fish. These special ovens heat to extreme temperatures, but keep the flames from ever touching the succulent slabs. This seals in flavor and juices while creating a crispy exterior. Marinated churrasco skirt steak, grilled wild salmon in a guava glaze, and roasted pork highlight the menu alongside traditional Cuban sandwiches. Delectable flavors can be relished with a Cuban coffee and bookended by a Cuban flan.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top-five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milkshake, and Best Drivethru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through its program [Limeades for Learning](http://www.sonicdrivein.com/About/Community, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
Family-sized platters emerge from the kitchen alongside individual portions of familiar Italian entrees, entering into a petite but lavishly dressed dining room that the Hudson Reporter referred to as "one of those quality places that doesn’t intimidate you" in a 2011 feature. The menu's selection boasts housemade ravioli, grilled Atlantic salmon, and cuts of veal in one of the chefs' hearty sauces. To accompany meals, Buon Appetito also stocks its cellar with wines from across Italy and California, including fruit-forward reds and refreshing whites that are chilled to their ideal drinking temperatures inside of an igloo.
The dining room maintains a welcoming yet refined ambience, with black linens draped over every table, a ceiling lined with small crystal chandeliers, and walls filled with vibrantly colored vintage advertisements. Buon Appetito's delicatessen fulfills a separate gastronomic purpose, plying visitors with cheeses, sausages, and imported Italian foods instead of fully prepared entrees.
Goodfella’s LES dishes a menu of oversized pasta selections and piles high-quality ingredients atop the eatery’s signature semolina pizza dough. Adhering to recipes that earned the restaurant accolades from the International Pizza Expo for World’s Best Pizza in 2007, World’s Best Non-Traditional Pizza in 2009, and Roundest Crust in a Supporting Role, Goodfella’s chefs use a brick oven to bake a dozen specialty pies adorned with such toppings as san marzano tomatoes, wood-fire-roasted peppers, and lemon-garlic chicken. For crust-free fare, diners nosh on cooked-to-order pasta selections, such as the rigatoni alla vodka, or sink teeth into a succulent brick-oven steak or grilled Norwegian salmon served with sautéed spinach and roasted potatoes.
Owner and chef Francis Szklarski infuses his authentic Italian menu with innovative pasta courses and a smattering of fresh seafood. Sautéed with garlic, mussels from the Prince Edward Islands ($8.95) arrive in pools of sweet or spicy marinara, and portobello ($7.95) earns a chance to wrestle in a higher weight class by stuffing itself with mozzarella-topped crabmeat. Curled up on a leafy bed of sautéed spinach, veal saltimbocca ($19.95) stays warm under a heavy blanket of prosciutto and mozzarella, and Mulberry Street shrimp ($18.95) arrives on plates lightly breaded and fried in mildly spiced sweet marinara over a heaping portion of linguine. An extensive assortment of wines matches each entree, as do more than 40 martinis concocted behind the martini lounge's chic black-granite bar. Amici's ambiance evokes Italy with paintings, wall sconces, and frequent leaning towers of spaghetti.